When a bone expands or enlarges, it becomes deformed and can result in a chronic condition, commonly known as Paget’s disease.
This irregular enlargement of bone leads to bone pain, arthritis, bone deformity and also bone fractures.
Normally, Paget’s disease involves only one bone, but there is no guarantee that more than one bone of your body won’t be affected. Usually, the bones of pelvis, spine, skull, shin, upper arm and thigh are the most vulnerable.
The cause of abnormal remodeling of bone is unclear, but it is believed that genetic factors and viruses play a major role in the development of the disease.
Is it dangerous to have Paget’s disease?
In most cases, Paget’s disease of bone develops slowly and can be managed effectively. Fatal conditions are very rare. The most possible complications involved in this particular bone growth disorder include:
Sarcoma: A very rare complication, commonly known as bone cancer. It occurs in less than 1% of people with abnormal bone growth. Usually, it doesn’t develop until many years after the onset of Paget’s disease.
Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint disorder is the most common long-term complication associated with Paget’s bone disease. The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the easier it is to prevent degenerative joint disorder.
Heart failure: Long-term Paget’s bone disease may force your heart to work much harder in pumping blood to the affected parts, and over time may lead to heart diseases. If you already suffer from heart disease, it can increase the workload on your heart and lead to heart failure.
If Paget’s disease affects the bones of your head, you can experience loss of vision (rarely), hearing loss and loss of teeth.
Is self-care essential?
Living with Paget’s disease can be stressful, and to get maximum relief from the symptoms, self-care at home is crucial along with proper medication and medical attention. It can help you to prevent undue stress on your bones. Here are few steps to help you manage Paget’s bone disease.
- Include exercise in your daily routine, especially weight bearing exercises like walking, jogging or weight lifting to strengthen your bones. Avoid placing any stress on bones that are affected with Paget’s disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess body weight can cause additional damage to your bones and joints. It also worsens the pain in your joints. If you are carrying extra body mass, eliminate it by following weight reduction techniques.
- Be vigilant with your regular diet. Include sufficient levels of calcium and Vitamin D, which facilitates absorption of excess calcium. This is particularly important, if you are being treated with biphosphonates.
Make sure you get a proper diagnosis. Paget’s disease should not be confused with any skin disorders, which can have similar manifestations.